First Aired 23rd, 2017.
Flashbacks show a young Zelena saved from bullies by a man named Stanum (played by Alex Desert). Meanwhile, the Black Fairy (played by Jamie Murray) tries to recruit Zelena/The Wicked Witch (played by Rebeca Mader) to her side for the final battle.
Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (played by Robert Carlyle) and Belle (played by Emilie de Ravin) work to bring the Blue Fairy (played by Keegan Connor Tracy) out of her coma, hoping she has information about the Black Fairy. Emma (played by Jennifer Morrison) and Hook (played by Colin O’Donoghue) are roped into wedding planning by her parents. Unfortunately, Snow White/Mary Margaret (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming/David (played by Josh Dallas) fight over the details. Zelena tells the group about her encounter with the Black Fairy, but when they refuse to attack right away, she goes alone. Flashbacks to Oz show an older Stanum was cursed by the Wicked Witch of the North and is becoming a tin man. After some convincing, Zelena agrees to help him get a magical heart to save him. Back in the present, Regina follows Zelena to some underground mines to stop her but Zelena lashes out at Regina for blaming her for Regina’s losses and never considering Zelena’s own pain. They find the Black Fairy and Gideon (played by Giles Matthey) and after a brief fight between Regina and Zelena, Zelena goes after the Black Fairy alone.
There is always a question about who is the most powerful person around and I’m starting to think it’s the Blue Fairy. In almost every season, someone tries to kill her but the Blue Fairy always recovers. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, imagine doing it while an evil fairy is out to kill you. The wedding story feels like a waste, but it’s a way of keeping the main characters busy so that, after being on the sidelines, Zelena could be the main focus of this episode. Similar to Regina’s storyline a few episodes back, Zelena’s arc is that of a woman whose worst enemy is herself. Her relationship with Regina and friendship with Stanum were both put at risk because she always let power or ego get in the way. Zelena has been underused for the second half of season six and this episode both fleshed out more of her backstory and provided emotional depth to her character. Zelena always embraced her evil side, even actively fighting against the heroes, but now she’s taken over Regina’s role of a former villain seeking purpose and is someone the audience can root for.
Zelena attacks the Black Fairy, who channels Zelena’s magic to weaponize fairy crystals in the mines with dark magic: her real plan all along. David finally snaps and tells Mary Margaret he refuses to hold a wedding until after they’ve defeated the Black Fairy, to not rush to plan one out of fear, and Emma agrees. In flashbacks, Zelena finds the heart but learns for it to work it needs her magic and believes Stanum tried to trick her. Refusing to give up her magic, Zelena leaves and Stanum fully transforms and becomes a tin statue. Back in the present, in Storybrooke, Zelena apologizes and admits to Regina that despite their differences, Regina is all Zelena has left. Zelena says that because her magic was used to create the dark magic in the fairy crystals, it can be destroyed if her magic is destroyed, and reveals the magical heart that came in a cyclone that she tried to use to go back to Oz out of guilt for her actions.
The emotional charge behind the wedding planning scenes made them feel more relevant to the episode’s story and kept it from being a pointless B story. After sacrificing her friend to keep her powers, Zelena finally learned to put relationships ahead of them. Zelena’s story has come full circle and although it seems too quickly resolved, it’s a consequence of the show’s possible end fast approaching. And it was fun to see more of Once’s take on the Wizard of Oz mythology. I’m assuming the lion that attacked them was the Cowardly Lion; he certainly looked scared of Zelena. Hopefully, Zelena won’t fade into the background in the last few episodes, especially given that, without magic, she wouldn’t be a key player in any fight.
Zelena takes the heart and drains her magic, which destroys the evil crystals and sets back the Black Fairy. She tells them about the Blue Fairy and Emma uses a crystal to start her heart and gets them one step closer to waking her. The Black Fairy reveals to Gideon that she wanted the Blue Fairy out of the way because she knows her darkest secret: why she gave up her son Gold. Perhaps without her magic, Zelena can finally grow out of her wicked ways, but she’ll have to find another way to be of use in the upcoming fight. Once is all about family secrets, so, of course, another one would be slipped into the narrative. It’s all building up to this battle and after all the hype it better be nothing short of epic.
“I never get tired of that new baby smell.” “Lay a hand on her again and you’ll lose it.”
Henry (played by Jared Gilmore) is having issues with his Author Powers; hopefully, they’ll be gone for good.
“Let’s get on with it. There’s a village full of munchkins I still need to terrorize tonight.”
I wonder if past characters will be making appearances to help in the final battle, there certainly is a long list to choose from.
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